“Conscience is a judgement of practical reason that helps us to recognize and seek what is good and to reject what is evil” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1778, 1796).
A well-formed conscience is an ongoing exercise (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 1784). The Church offers the following process in forming one’s conscience:
- When examining any issue or situation, we must begin by being open to the truth and what is right.
- We must study Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church.
- We must examine the facts and background information about various choices.
- We must prayerfully reflect to discern the will of God (Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship, no. 18).
The United States Catholic Catechism for Adults adds:
- The prudent advice and good example of others support and enlighten our conscience.
- The authoritative teaching of the Church is an essential element.
- The gifts of the Holy Spirit help us develop our conscience.
- Regular examination of conscience is important as well (p. 314).
- (“What is Conscience?”)
See also – A Well-Formed Conscience